Meet the Faculty: Vickie ChitwoodOct 24, 2017
Meet the Faculty
Vickie Chitwood, Allied Health Department Chair
Assistant Professor, Respiratory Therapy
MS in Career and Technical Education, Old Dominion University
BS, Old Dominion University
BS in Healthcare Services, California College of Health Sciences
AAS in Respiratory Therapy, Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Rockingham Community College’s Assistant Professor of Respiratory Therapy, Vickie Chitwood has been teaching for the past 20 years, even though her career began in a clerical position in the emergency department of a health care facility in Virginia.
It was in a hospital emergency department that Chitwood realized she wanted to be more involved with direct patient care. In the ER anything can happen. Because she was able to observe a variety of health care disciplines in action, Chitwood decided to return to college and study respiratory therapy. Once she landed a job in the hospital’s respiratory therapy area, her educational journey continued.
Chitwood realized that she would need advanced degrees in order to achieve her career goals. While working up through the academic ranks at RCC, Chitwood earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree. Her educational achievements qualified her for a full-time teaching position in the Respiratory Therapy program as well as a clinical coordinator position and later program director. Today, Chitwood serves as the Department Chair for Allied Health at the college.
“My students come from diverse backgrounds, with different life struggles, and I feel like I embrace their success,” said Chitwood. “Community college students come from so many different walks of life. I have taught ages 18-60, people who have never worked in health care as well as those coming back to college for a second career.”
In her classroom, students learn the skills and gain the confidence to do the right thing for patients and their families. Not only do students learn skills, they develop a strong sense of passion and empathy for the patients they serve and for their coworkers in the profession.
“Work in the field of respiratory therapy is not easy. There will be days when my students wonder why they have chosen the field. On days when they see a smile from a patient, are able to comfort a family member, or just help someone take a breath, it will be worth it,” said Chitwood when asked to advise someone considering a career in respiratory therapy.
For more information on the Respiratory Therapy program of study at the college, contact the Admissions Office at 336-342-4261, ext. 2333.
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